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5 best side hustle ideas for those with coding skills

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

The modern workforce has successfully ushered in the gig economy: a growing number of workers leaving their conventional, 9-5 employment in favour of more flexible, independent, contract-based jobs under multiple employers. 

As a generation seeking more “autonomous” careers, the sector has primarily gained popularity among millennial workers. 

Reports show 7% of Australian workers currently looking to such gigs and “side hustles”, with a wide range of online platforms serving as freelancing “hubs” across several industries. Computer programming and web development are among the most popular choices; and with ICT as a leading force in the current Australian economy, this comes as no surprise. 

If you’re an aspiring or current IT professional looking to make part-time earnings, here are five lucrative side hustles to pursue today.

1. Freelance projects.

Freelancing is a common choice among coders looking to make additional income. Not only can you find opportunities through a wide selection of freelancing websites; this side hustle is also a productive way of improving your skills and building on your resume. 

Additionally, freelance coders typically get to choose the languages, technologies, and libraries being used. This allows them to broaden their knowledge base across programming areas that interest them – those looking to get into game development and animation, for example, can expand their skills in C++ or C#; while those looking to get into more “back end” work can pick up PHP and MySQL.

Some recommend specialising in a particular programming field, as experts in a specific language or skillset can often set higher rates due to the exclusive value they offer. 

Upwork or FlexJobs are popular platforms for freelance coders to get started. Both are also highly-regulated to ensure users acquire legitimate projects with safe methods of payment. Common job opportunities found on these websites include:
  • mobile app development
  • WordPress coding
  • optimising e-commerce websites
  • developing bots for automation.

2. Tutoring. 

teaching code concept

They say the best way to learn is to teach -  so why not share your expertise with other aspiring professionals? 

Mentoring or tutoring other would-be programmers is both an effective way of building your knowledge and understanding of the field, while making new connections with others in the community. Those looking to learn from a tutor generally don’t have the time or money to invest in a bootcamp or formal course; they’d rather have the more personable, one-on-one experience of learning from an expert such as yourself.

When pursuing a tutoring role, it first helps to determine the level of students you’ll be teaching (this would, of course, have to match your existing skill level and expertise). You can also benefit from niching down to a specific aspect of coding (i.e. teaching Javascript or basic web development), as this can help in marketing your services to a specific market. 

You needn’t travel or meet your clients face-to-face, either – as tutoring can now often be done through video conferencing platforms, helping you reach students across the country (or even other regions of the globe). 

3. Create your own blog or website dedicated to programming.

Another lucrative, popular side hustle among coding experts is to share their knowledge through a blog or their own, personal website. This can additionally come as a fun, easy project for those who’ve already built skills in web design and development. 

Though time-consuming, there are multiple ways one can earn money through their own website. These include ad revenue (from which some high-traffic sites are able to earn thousands monthly), sponsored content, and promoting affiliate links (also known as “affiliate marketing”, where users promote third-party products on their site and receive a commission for every purchase made by their audience). 

The best part is, you can choose to talk about any and all things that interest you in the world of coding – provided that they offer your audience with the value they’re after. 

You can even use your coding skills to build a professional website based on another interest or hobby, and apply the same monetisation methods.

4. Create an eBook. 

ebook concept

Selling your own educational materials can go hand-in-hand with having your own blog or website. 

If you still wish to make extra income sharing your expertise, though aren’t exactly drawn to tutoring or consulting others – you can still do so through crafting professional eBooks. 

The increasing demand for coding skills is no secret (a trend rising across the globe – not just in Australia), with many pushed to seek out ways of training and improving their skills in the field. It’s not just an industry for profitable careers, but a lucrative avenue for education. 

Writing and self-publishing an eBook involves no entry barriers, with websites like Leanpub providing an avenue for writers to sell and market their online work. 

Creating these educational resources allow you to easily tap into a global market of aspiring programming experts, while having new, self-branded products to sell on your site. 

5. Start a YouTube channel on coding. 

Finally, if you enjoy creating video-based content – starting a YouTube channel is another creative (and eventually, profitable) way of sharing your knowledge and experiences in coding.

The process is similar to building your own blog or website, with a focus on more audio-visual media. The best part is that the medium is flexible; not only do you have the opportunity of exploring any and all areas of the field, you can also get as inventive and experimental as you’d like with the content (provided it still offers clear, understandable information).

For example, some video creators choose to film themselves teaching or discussing an aspect of coding, while others choose to relay the same topic through a screen-recorded session. 

Monetising your videos can be done in a number of ways, though doing this takes a bit more work and patience. The profits, however, can be highly fulfilling. 

As with having your own website, you can make revenue off serving ads on your videos – though this feature is exclusive to those who have amass 1,000 subscribers. However, you can also earn money through affiliate links and pitching companies or products through sponsored video ideas. 

Additionally, creators commonly turn to membership platforms such as Patreon to help fund and sustain the content they make. 

Pursue a lucrative, rewarding career in the world of coding.

Whether it’s to sharpen your skills for a budding side hustle or to seek out the many job opportunities on demand – building your skills in programming can help you boost your career options. 

Upskilled prides in being a leading Australian provider of online education, with a wide selection of courses in the field of information technology. 

Build your skills in coding today, and enquire about a course today. 
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